March 26: The Trials
The Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, finally declared a verdict in Jesus’ case: guilty. Guilty of blasphemy because He claimed to be God.
The Sanhedrin sentenced Him to death on these charges. However, they did not have the authority to carry out the sentence. They were under the auspices of Rome – and only Rome could enforce the death penalty. So off to Pilate, the Roman Governor, they went, with Jesus as their prisoner. He ended up being bounced between Pilate and King Herod in a series of trials.
King Herod was delighted to have a chance to see Jesus in person because he was hoping to see a miracle. He was looking for a good show. Pilate interviewed Him extensively and finally said, “I find no fault in Him”. But where he could have set Jesus free, he washed his hands of the whole thing instead. And at each one, they found no fault in Him. Because there was none to find. And with every piece of the trials, all throughout the morning, the people shouted, “Crucify Him!”
So an innocent man – who was fully God as well – was condemned to die.
Did God the Father suddenly become powerless? Step off His throne? Look away or fall asleep? Did Jesus lose His power? The One who raised the dead couldn’t prevent His own death?
Of course not.
In the garden when he was arrested, Jesus told Peter, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will immediately provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53, NLT) (That would be 60,000 angels!)
God chose to send His one and only Son.
And the Son also chose to die. Not for His crimes.
But for yours. For mine.
No judge, council, governor or king would have changed the verdict or the death sentence that went with it. Not because Jesus was guilty.
But because I am. We are. And punishment was justly deserved.
Adoration: Praise God that, even when it looks like evil is winning, the Truth is that His higher ways always prevail in the life of a Christ-follower. Consider praying Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT), which says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Confession: Ask God to show you any area in your life where you are doubting His higher ways. Ask Him for the grace to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; (and) not depend on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
Thanksgiving: Thank God for His protection and watch care over us and for the freedom to worship that we enjoy.
Supplication: Ask God for His heart for every part of your life and every person in your daily life. Seek His wisdom and ways in every choice you make.